Lake Ontario Seaway Trail Olcott Lighthouse

The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518 mile scenic drive along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.


We’ll be focused on the portion that runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego. Checkout this Google Map of locations along the Seaway Trail.

I recommend breaking the route in two: Fort Niagara one day, Fort Ontario another. I’d also recommend enjoying the stops backwards, heading into Rochester rather than away.

Get the bulk of the long-drive out of the way in the morning and start the trip at the farthest point, bouncing your way back slowly toward Rochester. You’ll have a better gauge of your time, how you and your traveling companions are feeling, and ensure that you don’t use up your energy before a long drive home.


The great thing about a trip like this is it’s primarily slow roads passing through small farming and lakeside communities. You’ll find unique places to see, shop and eat while enjoying a relaxing day along Lake Ontario. You’ll also find a great variety of places that will entertain you, inspire you, and calm you.

Lake Ontario Seaway Trail Olcott Lakeview Village Shoppes
Lakeview Village Shoppes in Olcott
Old Fort Niagara State Park Youngstown NY
Old Fort Niagara
Hamlin Beach State Park Yanty Creek Marsh boardwalk
Hamlin Beach State Park
Ontario Beach Park Jetty at the Port
Port of Rochester

Western Seaway Trail

The trail runs from Fort Niagara to Rochester mainly along Rt. 18, taking you through Youngstown, Wilson, Olcott, Oak Orchard, Hamlin, Braddock Bay, Hilton, and Charlotte.

Old Fort Niagara

Fort Niagara was active for 300 years as a strategic stronghold during the French and Indian Wars, War of 1812, American Revolutionary War, and American Civil War.

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Hamlin Beach State Park

Hamlin Beach State Park has 7 miles of beautiful biking and walking trails, including a mile-long self-guided tour of a CCC/POW camp.

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Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area

The Braddock Bay complex includes the bay and the surrounding wetlands. We break it down so you can start exploring!

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Ontario Beach Park

Lake Ontario Beach Park is located at the northernmost tip of the city of Rochester, and is bordered on the East by the mouth of the Genesee River.

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Seabreeze Amusement Park Lake Ontario
Seabreeze Amusement Park
Fair Haven State Park barrier
Fair Haven Beach State Park
Fort Ontario
Fort Ontario
Pultneyville Landing
Pultneyville Landing

Eastern Seaway Trail

The trail runs from Fort Ontario to Rochester primarily Lake Rd (Rt 1, Rt 101) and Rt 104, taking you through Oswego, Sterling, Sodus, Huron, Pultenyville, Webster, and Seabreeze.

Chimney Bluffs State Park

The bluffs in Chimney Bluffs State Park are fragile drumlins, like all of the truncated drumlins along this section of shoreline.

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6 Amusement Parks Near Rochester

When May comes around, you find the amusement parks with dry-rides opening on the weekends, with the water parks opening closer to Father’s Day in mid-June.

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Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman Park’s landscape design was inspired by the work that Olmsted had done 20 years earlier in Highland, Seneca, and Genesee Valley Parks.

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Lake Ontario Bear Creek Boat Launch
Bear Creek Lake Ontario launch

More to Explore

There are so many things to do along the Lake Ontario Seaway Trail. What you choose depends on how long you wish to explore in one area. There are parks, attractions, and farms sprinkled throughout the region.

9 Lighthouses Along Lake Ontario

These lighthouses along Lake Ontario in New York are all within a two-hour drive of Rochester. And where there is a lighthouse there is a sweeping view!

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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41 Quirky Roadside Attractions

Spend a day checking out these unique and unusual roadside attractions, like shoe trees, a skeleton army, and a metal dragon, within 2 hours of Rochester.

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Summertime in Rochester

Fresh produce, fresh water, outdoor concerts, and 13,500 square miles to explore! Take advantage of everything summertime in Rochester has to offer.

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9 Rochester U-Pick Seasons

There are U-Pick farms all around the Greater Rochester Area. Often times, picking your own product is as much a family adventure as it is entertainment!

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26 Incredible Creeks Around Rochester

These beautiful creeks around Rochester impact us in such subtle ways they sometimes disappear into the background of our lives.

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The Darkest Sky Near Rochester

Locations northeast of Rochester close to Lake Ontario, or south of US-20 in the Finger Lakes will offer the darkest sky near Rochester.

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County Parks: Our Favorite 5 to Explore

The Monroe County Parks systems includes 20 parks that are all worth exploring, but these are the five you absolutely must see if you haven’t already!

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Rochester Railfans: Trains, Depots, Rail-Trails, Models, & Clubs

Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.

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Where are your favorite places along the Seaway Trail?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!

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